The countdown is on for the 2021 Asia-Pacific Venue Industry Congress, with the first event being held in Brisbane this week. As Principal Sponsor, we are excited to welcome delegates – both in-person and online – to each of the events. In particular, we are looking forward to joining forces with our industry peers to find new and innovative ways to drive the industry forward.
In preparation for the congress, our CEO, Shaun Butler, met with VMA’s CEO, Michael Brierley, to discuss the current state of the industry and what attendees can expect to take away from this year’s congress. During the interview, Michael explained that VMA joined other leading industry players in forming LEIF, the Live Entertainment Industry Forum. As part of this initiative, they commissioned Ernst and Young to research the impact of COVID on Australia’s Live Entertainment Industry and the figures have been astounding.
The report focused on venue-based live music, major events and major professional sports, so while it did not take into account all event types and venues, it measured the impact of COVID across a broad spectrum of the industry. According to Michael, the LEIF report revealed that “the economic output of the industry was estimated to have dropped from 36.5 billion in 2019, down to 12.8 billion in 2020.” He continues, “Full-time equivalent jobs in the industry were estimated to have fallen from pre-COVID levels of about 123,000, down to 43,000.”
In Michael’s opinion, three main issues are highlighted in the report which can be linked back to the ongoing closure of international borders. These are the significant shortage of casual staff due to limited international travellers, the reduction in international conventions and lastly, the lack of international touring artists, which, according to Michael, “traditionally make up or account for up to 90% of the content in many of our arenas.”
Given the considerable impact COVID has had on the industry, the primary aim of this year’s congress is to give VMA members the tools that they need to get back on track now that restrictions have eased in and to ensure their success in future. The programs consist of keynote addresses, plenary sessions, and workshops covering everything from staff retention to crowd security, managing risk, workplace culture, sustainability, and more, and delegates also have the option to attend in person or access on-demand virtual content.
Watch the full interview below.
Here are some of the pictures from the event in Sydney
For more information or to register to attend, please visit the congress website.